Setup: I got my OneDrive folder with 200 GB+ files on my D: drive. All files are available offline.

Now I need wipe my C: drive and do a fresh install of Windows 8.1. When its done, my OneDrive folder will be in the default location on C:. However, I actually want the folder to be on drive D: where it was/still is and I also want to avoid having to re-download all the files, as I still have them on the drive.

Now I could move the OneDrive folder to the original destination. However, the last time I tried this every file was duplicated and I ended up downloading every file and uploading every copy before I could clean up the mess.

Is there any way to tell OneDrive that all of the files are already there?

  • Change the location before you link your account to Microsoft Account and the files won't be duplicated.
    – Ramhound
    Nov 1, 2014 at 16:12
  • 1
    @Ramhound - Have you actually been through the scenario he described? My impression is that OneDrive has to validate every single file which and duplicate conflicted copies. Its not just the files, but also the "database" that keeps track of your file metadata. I'm afraid that meta database may get wiped when you reinstall Windows 8.1
    – Sun
    Nov 3, 2014 at 20:44
  • In Windows 8 you can't set up your OneDrive without linking a MS Account. Perhaps this is possible in 8.1, but I don't really see how as it requires a Microsoft Account. I will try this in a VM and report back.
    – Thomas
    Nov 4, 2014 at 1:30

1 Answer 1


So I just took a leap and reinstalled Windows 8.1 on my C: drive logging in with my Microsoft account. First thing I did then was changing the OneDrive path to the existing folder on D: (using the explorer) as it had already started downloading my stuff from the cloud. I guess the important thing here is that you do NOT want to move any existing files when being prompted. Afterwards OneDrive indexed the files for about 3 hours, but no files were duplicated or uploaded/downloaded.

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